There are a number of big data gathering tools available to organisations and there is strength and merit behind almost all. When it comes to the human factor, it can be difficult to understand how big data metrics can help tell a story but the truth is it can – and very effectively.
We are familiar with using metrics and data gathering tools in areas such as employee engagement and new hire induction programmes but what does the evolution of data look like in the HR space and how do we connect data and analytics across the full employee life cycle?
1. The Evolution of People Analytics
Applying predictive and prescriptive analytics software to employee feedback tools allows us to dig deep and uncover greater insights. This allows us to get a much better understanding of our people and what they are truly saying.
If used correctly, people analytics can now support employees in making better business decisions on an individual level via real-time Business Intelligence (BI) dashboards. When employees can apply analytics, it informs decision-making processes, prioritises goals and shapes workforce planning. This helps improve engagement and shifts an employee’s mentality from a reactive mindset to a proactive mindset.
2. Connecting the Dots
Unified data is a big challenge for HR teams. We rely on multiple systems and databases, most of which have several inputs and outputs and no connection to each other. We generally don’t have cohesive data that provides deep, mind-changing insights across the entire employee life cycle. Some ideas on how we can start to connect the dots in a meaningful way:
- Within the first number of months, organisations can gather data on their training programmes for new hires, as well as employees’ performance. This can be combined with new-hire surveys to determine the areas of the company’s training process that are effective and which ones need work. This data can then be used not only to improve the process but to determine the employee’s strengths, opportunities and gaps. This data feeds into development plans and talent management roadmaps.
- Employee engagement and understanding their true needs for achieving success is significant for all retention strategies. The data gathered through engagement surveys and real-time BI analytics directly feeds into development planning, wellbeing strategies, performance management, workforce planning, KPI management and the overall organisational strategy.
Investment in people analytics is important but delivery and action on those analytics is essential. The key to success lies in embedding analytics, actions and recommendations into the decision-making processes and workflows of the organisation.